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IO’s and Human Rights: Rwanda. IR1501 Issues in International Relations. What can we say about ethnic cleansing?. Michael Mann, The Dark Side of Democracy Murderous cleansing is modern and thus the dark side of democracy Link between the demos and the ethnos Legacies of settler colonies

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IO’s and Human Rights: Rwanda

IR1501 Issues in International Relations


What can we say about ethnic cleansing?

  • Michael Mann, The Dark Side of Democracy

    • Murderous cleansing is modern and thus the dark side of democracy

      • Link between the demos and the ethnos

      • Legacies of settler colonies

      • Liberalization may be violent

      • Liberal democracies were built on ethnic cleansing

    • Ethnic hostility rises when ethnicity trumps class as the main form of social stratification


What can we say about ethnic cleansing?

  • Michael Mann, The Dark Side of Democracy

    • Murderous cleansing is reached when:

      • When two ethnic groups lay claim to the same territory

      • Both groups have considerable legitimacy and some possible chance of implementing control

    • Murderous cleansing happens

      • The less powerful side is bolstered to fight rather than submit by believing that aid will be coming from outside, or;

      • The stronger side believes it has such overwhelming military power and ideological legitimacy to win


What can we say about ethnic cleansing?

  • Michael Mann, The Dark Side of Democracy

    • Murderous cleansing occurs when the state is in control and radicalised amid an unstable geo-political environment

    • Murderous cleansing is rarely the initial intent of perpetrators

    • There are three main levels of perpetrator

      • Radical elites running party-states

      • Bands of paramilitaries

      • Core constituencies providing mass though not majority support


What can we say about ethnic cleansing?

  • Finally, ordinary people are brought by normal social structures into committing murderous ethnic cleansing

  • Murderous cleansing, ethnic cleansing, and genocide?


  • International Organisations and Human Rights


    International Organisations and Human Rights


    International Organisations and Human Rights

    • Rwanda: Introduction to the caste system

      • Tutsis (14%)

      • Hutus (85%)

      • Twa (1%)


    International Organisations and Human Rights

    • History of ethnic violence

      • Former Belgian Colony

        • Formalised distinction between Tutsi and Hutu groups

        • Tutsis used as local ruler for absent landlords

      • 1950s

        • The Tutsi’s (cattle) want more land and eject Hutus (farmers)

        • Tutsis demand independence from Belgium

          • Belgium changes sides and backs Hutus, which leads to a Hutu revolt in 1959 where thousands of Tutsis are either killed or find refuge in neighbouring states.*


    International Organisations and Human Rights

    • Following the 1959 rebellion, Hutus in power

      • But surrounded by displaced (and angry) Tutsis

    • 1963: Tutsi attack from Tutsi controlled Burundi

    • 1965: Tutsi attack again from Burundi

      • This time, the Hutu militias in Rwanda respond by killing between 20-50,000 Tutsis


    International Organisations and Human Rights

    • 1972: Hutus in Burundi revolt and the Tutsi government responds by killing thousands

    • 1973: Rwandan coup d’etat – overthrow of moderate Hutu government by ulta-nationalist Hutu government

    • The birth of a new ideology: ‘You are either with us or against us’ – No longer are moderate Hutus safe in Rwanda

    • Not Hutu vs. Tutsi but Ultra-nationalist Hutu against everyone else.


    International Organisations and Human Rights

    • 1980s: The competing armed groups in Uganda mobilise the Tutsi refugees there. (Repertoires of conflict)

    • Growing linguistic divide between Hutu and Tutsi

      • Rwanda is former Belgian colony (Francophone) but surrounded by former British colonies (Anglophone)


    International Organisations and Human Rights

    • 1990: Rwandan Patriotic Front (Tutsi) attempt to invade Rwanda from Uganda to overthrow Hutu regime

    • The Rwandan government calls on the French government to protect the Francophone population of Rwanda. Paris agrees and sends troops.

    • ‘French 'active' in Rwanda genocide’: French Tribunal in 2005


    International Organisations and Human Rights

    • 1993: African leaders force Rwandan Hutu regime into compromise with RPF (Tutsi)

    • 1994:Split in the Hutu regime in Rwanda

      • President (Juvenal): comparatively moderate

      • Presidents wife (Agathe Habyarimana): radical (Akazu)

        • Creates a para-military organisation

        • Procures heavy weapons from Egypt, SA, France

    • April 1994: on the same plane, the presidents of Rwanda and Burundi are killed in a rocket attack


    International Organisations and Human Rights

    • April 1994: With the death of the Rwandan president, the genocide begins.

    • http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/ghosts/video/


    International Response

    • How do explain the in-action?

      • US in Somalia?

      • End of the Cold War?

      • Institutional problems at the UN?

      • Racism?

    • Interventionists vs Restrictionists


    After the Genocide

    • UN efforts

      • International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda

        • November 1994

      • Have we learned from any mistakes?

        • Burundi

        • Congo

        • Sudan

        • Uganda


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